Updated: Feb 26
It's finally here! The awaited upgrade to the very successful Apollo Twin has been released and should be available for sale in a store near you pretty soon.
In this article we will look at the main differences between this new Apollo Twin X and the previous version, the Apollo Twin mkII.
The executive summary is that the differences inlcude but are not limited to the upgrade to a Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C style of connection. But let's look at the differences in more detail further in this article.
There is now also a bigger brother, the Apollo x4, which looks like a 'wider' Apollo, still rack-mount but with 4 inputs - for those like me who miss the 4 inputs I had on the RME Babyface Pro.
Get to the point
All right, here we go. Let's just list out the main differences we've observed so far:
The interface, as mentioned before, has been upgraded from Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3:
Connects directly to the new MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C style connectors, no need for an adaptor;
Bandwidth upgraded from 20 Gbps to 40 Gbps - unlike to make much of a difference as the number of channels is pretty much the same: 2 analog and 8 via ADAT;
No Solo option, just Duo or Quad DSP options;
A/D conversion on both inputs (be it in line mode, microphone or Hi-Z) upgraded to match Universal Audio's rack mount series of Apollos. This is one of the key points of their advertisement.
In reality, the hardware manual points to a difference in spec indeed. You will notice for example that on the Line Inputs 1&2 the dynamic range went to 122dB from 117.5dB on the Twin mkII (snapshots below).
D/A conversion on all outputs also upgraded to match the rack mount series of professional products.
Apollo Twin mkII Inputs
Apollo Twin X Inputs
Apollo Twin mkII Outputs
Apollo Twin X Outputs
The changes were obvious and expected: achieve commonality with the rack mount gear, and upgrade the interface.
If you have an Apollo Twin mkII like me, I don't see any compelling reason to dump it on eBay and go pay top coin for the new one. But of course if you're just about to enter the Universal Audio world, go with the Apollo Twin X as this upgrade means business and there is no point in buying outdated hardware.
By the way, I explained our reasons for switching from an RME Babyface Pro to a Universal Audio Apollo Twin mkII in this past article, so be sure to have a look at that if you want to know more.
I for sure would like to hear from you if you're already running this new device at full steam.
There might be other differences coming up in forums or that you may have noticed, and I want to include them here.